We don't expect our public officials to be perfect, but we really don't want to have to watch them count out the cash from their bribes on camera - essentially, right in front of us.
In begging for mercy from the judge, former State Senator John Ford said that he was completely offended with himself, completely ashamed of what he saw in the undercover tapes we all watched. Well, we can all agree on that point.
I think we can also agree with U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen who said that Ford's behavior sends an unfortunate message. Judge Breen expressed concern that young people may now think that "this is how things are done," as they consider public service.
Well, let's be honest. Ford wasn't alone. He was one of 12 lawmakers or aides charged in the Tennessee Waltz corruption cases. This is how things are done.
The U.S Attorney's office is to be commended for its work on these investigations. We can only hope their work will have some effect as a deterrent for other public officials who find themselves tempted by greed.